Celebrate Resilience As Well As IndependenceJuly 1, 2021
Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech in 1858 on The Declaration of Independence, concerned that most people had never read it, nor, celebrated it for what it said, and accomplished.
His speech in Lewiston, Illinois said,
“My countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines [that] conflict with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions; if you have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal in those inalienable rights enumerated in our charter of liberty, let me entreat you to come back. Return to the fountain whose waters spring close by the blood of the revolution. Think nothing of me — take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever — but come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence. You may do anything with me you choose, if you will but heed these sacred principles.
The Declaration…was formed by the representatives of American liberty from thirteen States. These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children, and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.”
Lincoln realized even in the 19th century, America was as much a nation of doers as a nation of thinkers.
We are marked by a history of resilience.
Of late, our moments as a nation have not always been shining ones, but we continue to endeavor to “do better” — to learn, adapt, survive.
We have had episodes of divisiveness, and hopefully have gotten more appreciative of unity, and more respectful of the things that make us unique and the freedoms that make those choices, written and spoken words, and personal preferences possible.
Most of us have been disrupted in one way, shape or form over the last year and a half.
Life is slowly returning to the newest normal.
There will undoubtedly be more challenges, just as there will be more opportunities.
Businesses will need to continue to recalibrate their modes of operation, as well as their expectations.
And, as we always tell our valued clients, the only constant you can count on is change — and an enterprise must anticipate, embrace and leverage it — not just react to it.
Companies forecast revenues, expenses, trends. It’s much harder to do forecasting than it is to write an annual report, or write a financial statement. Writing the story of your business, what’s going to happen, that’s something that requires very independent thinking, and resilient spirit.
Meanwhile, wishing all of you a wonderful Independence Day weekend.
We can always count on Lady Liberty to keep her torch raised, celebrating our continued rebound from a pandemic that shook us hard — but as Americans, we, of course, persevered.
This Independence Day, whether you raise a sparkler or your glass, take a moment to be thankful, and whatever you raise, raise it to honor those who have not been as fortunate through eighteen months of challenge and change, months which have earned us a Declaration of Resilience as well.
Happy 4th of July. Happy Independence Day.
Happy American Resilience Day.